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Botany for Beekeepers Short Course

Course Description

During this two day course, we will examine in detail plants and their importance to bees. In particular students will gain an understanding of the special relationship between honey bees and flowering plants, including the processes of pollination and fertilisation, cross pollination strategies, pollinator signals and an appreciation of the major bee forage plants of the UK

Mainly classroom based with a number of practical elements, the course will also include a botany walk exercise aimed at identifying and listing common bee flowers.

The course will be beneficial to beekeepers in general and those intending to take BBKA Module 2, ‘Honey bee products and forage’.

Aims of this course

  • To give students knowledge of the Flora of the UK and its importance to honeybees
  • To appreciate the value of plant recognition and characteristics to beekeeping in the British Isles
  • To help beekeepers to understand the structure of flowering plants and to understand common botanical terms
  • To appreciate the relationship between plants and bees

Course objectives

At the end of the course, students will be able to:

  • Understand the classification of living things and plants in particular
  • Recognise and identify the major bee forage plants of the UK
  • Identify and name the external parts of flowers
  • Explain some common botanical terminology
  • State the different mechanisms for plant pollination
  • State the reasons for plant taxonomy
  • Use a floral key to recognise common bee forage plants
  • State some characteristics of honey from different plants
  • Describe the major identifying features of pollen
  • State the use of pollen identification in honey



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